Why Gum Disease Affects More than You Think

As one of the most common chronic dental concerns, gum disease is well-known for the trouble it can cause your oral health. As it progresses, gum disease destroys the structures that support and sustain your teeth (your gums and jawbone structure), making it the leading cause of adult tooth loss. However, fewer people are aware that tooth loss isn’t the most worrisome consequence of gum disease. In fact, patients with severe forms can often be at much higher risks of developing other chronic conditions, due in large part to the inflammation caused by unchecked gum disease.

When Gums Become Diseased

While gum disease is caused by excessive gatherings of oral bacteria underneath your gums, the main culprit is the specific bacteria type, Porphyromonas gingivalis. Besides irritating your gums like other harmful oral bacteria, P. gingivalis also produces a molecule that tricks your immune system into inflaming your gum tissues. This inflammation grows worse as gum disease progresses and more bacteria accumulate, and it’s the main factor in gum disease’s influence on your overall systemic health.

After Tooth Loss

Left unchecked, gum disease erodes the supportive gum tissues and jawbone that your teeth rely on to remain in place. As teeth are lost and gum tissues are damaged, P. gingivalis bacteria can enter the bloodstream with their inflammation-causing molecules intact. Their presence in your body increases your risks of inflammation related health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, and more. By treating gum disease as early as possible, you can reduce those risks by preventing the spread of gum disease-causing bacteria.

Defend Against Gum Disease with Help from Your Dentist

Gum disease may be best known for causing tooth loss, but for many patients, that’s only the beginning of the trouble the disease can cause. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Lake Bluff, Chicago, Libertyville, Gurnee, Highland Park, Vernon hills, Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Bannockburn, Ravinia, and all surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area.